Tips and discussions about saving money and discounts, generating extra income, financial planning, working from home, and more.

Tipping the Sitter

Hi All! I am scheduled to babysit for a family tonight, and one of the parents just let me know that they will pay my base rate plus a tip at the end of the night. I've had other families give a tip, but most of the families for whom I babysit don't offer tips in addition to my hourly rate. I'm curious to know if tipping the babysitter is a relatively common practice? I'm also c... More

  • Anonymous

    I babysat from the time I was in my early teens. My first "clients" paid me a flat $5/hr for their grandson, guaranteeing me at least $20 per job. They picked me up and took me home; I was welcome to eat whatever I wanted. I got nice birthday and Christmas gifts from them, too. Since I worked in a summer program and lived in a neighborhood full of kids, I was booked up every weekend. ... More

CP posted in Child Care Jan 09

What is too much?

My in-home daycare is on the more expensive side ($375/week, 8-5, no meals). They charge for all holidays, and take 4 weeks of personal time (unpaid) that amounts to over 6 weeks off a year. They use to give us 2 weeks a year worth of "sick time" where you don't have to pay if you aren't there. (This at least offset some of the incredibly high price) They just announced that t... More

  • Christine

    I am a Large Family Child Care Provider in the SF Bay Area. You get what you pay for and the fit is the most important after love and safety. We are opened almost all year except for legal holidays and a few days at Christmas. Serve 2 meals and 3 snacks. I have 5 employees + myself & a Papa. I like an above average ratio so eyes are on the kids in our large indoor and outdoor spaces. Minimu... More

  • Our Loving Village H.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Friday

    As a quality child care provider, I want chime in with the fact that parents need be mindful of their work-family-life balance as well as ours. Regardless of price, I am privileged that I am available to care for children most of their waking hours, day in and day out. I get it, parents have to work! I am a first time mom of boy-girl twins. 14 months old now. I have ran my home daycare since... More

C posted in Money Jan 07

When to teach children about money, and how?

I want to teach my son financial literacy as soon as it’s best for him to grasp the concept. He’s 16 months old currently. I’ve got three questions: 1. What are some signs to look for that it’s the right time for him to start? I don’t want to start too young or too late. 2. What are your recommendations for techniques and reading materials? 3. Perhaps more pressingly: what are your recommen... More

  • Momof2
    Jan 08

    I am working on learning financial tips myself. There are lots of podcasts. I have been listening to choose FI podcast and like it.

  • Sarah
    Jan 11

    My son has had a bank account almost since birth and we take him to deposit his money after he gets it for birthdays & such. We’ve also let him help with sliding credit cards or giving cash when checking out and put a dollar in the basket at church. He’s obsessed with “money” as he says, which pretty much means he just wants to go to the store. Not quite understanding it at age 2 but he’ll ... More

Mrs. HHH posted in Money Dec 28

Cash gifts given to very young children

What are you doing with money gifts given to young children? Mine is too young to “save or spend” his own money Sometimes I put it in his 529 account but this year the amount was very minimal.... sometimes I’ve used it to buy kid supplies and needs. Wondering what others do with cash given to kids 5 and under.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 02

    We have a 529 account. And a regular kids savings account. I wish my parents had saved money up through the years. But every little bit helps.

  • Stacey
    Jan 09

    My 2 year old has a savings account. Any money he gets we put in there. He has a ton saved since he doesn’t spend any yet.

Anonymous posted in Child Care Nov 15

Getting underpaid by your employer: How to go about a money conversation.

I’m a Nanny for a wonderful family. I usually never keep track of my hours because I have a lot on my plate and my Nanny family is usually keeping track. I recently started tracking my hours as to better budget myself before my paycheck arrives. Today I received my paycheck to find several hours worth of pay missing, I went back to my written hours and recounted them and the math was correct, s... More

  • Ashley
    Nov 17

    There’s An app for tracking your hours look it up and you should definitely bring it up... u should get paid for all the hours and if they’re not paying you for your time then they r taking advantage of you best luck to you!

  • carrie isaacson
    Nov 17

    Or lo-fi also works. Print out a few paper timesheets, start keeping a binder at their house. Fill it in *as you arrive* and *when you leave*, clock in / clock out style. Take a pic at least on Fridays for your records. The suggestion above to send texts also works. Do you have a contract with your employer? Strongly recommended so everyone is on the same page.

Anonymous posted in Money Nov 13

SAHM feeling unimportant

Before my 10 month old son, I was very financially independent and never relied on anybody for anything. Until I became a stay at home mom. My husband is always very supportive with my decision to stay at home but financially it’s getting difficult. Always having to ask him for money for my and the babies needs makes me feel so worthless. I feel like my decision to be a SAHM has put us in the h... More

  • Anonymous
    Nov 14

    Is this post more about finances and what to do or is there something else going on about feeling appreciated for what you do at home? Details seem to be about finances but the title of your post suggests otherwise. As far as the finances, I would sit down and budget out what can be spent on needs each month and find out where you can cut costs. My husband and I have our own personal checking... More

  • Anonymous
    Nov 14

    I was in the same boat for a long time. I had never known a time when I was unemployed and not working at least 60 hours a week...until I had a baby. The reality is that since I’m a SAHM, I work 24/7. My husband and I agreed that financially, it was more cost effective for me NOT to have a job. We don’t have a big surplus of cash lying around but we recognize where we can spend money - we love ... More

Anonymous posted in Money Oct 26


Does anyone use coupons for grocery shopping? I feel like this is a dumb question, but I’ve tried websites and looking in the mail for flyers before and think I may be missing something because I rarely find coupons or they don’t seem to offer significant savings (usually I see promos for sales, but not a true “coupon.) I’m not trying to be an extreme couponer, but if it’s easy enough I’m inte... More

  • Jessica
    Oct 31

    I had the best luck couponing when I was part of a group that did a coupon swap. We would bring coupons that we didn’t use and it helped the rest of us get ones we actually needed. I saved 10% regularly! That being said, you can’t be very brand loyal if you want to maximize savings. It’s work but can save you.

  • Tina
    Nov 21

    I use rakuten. I get money back for shopping online and I like my credit card to my account so when I use the card in any store I get cash back. It’s great.

Anonymous posted in Money Sep 29, 2019

Home Renters, Help!

My husband and I are having trouble with renting a house. It seems we don't meet the standards needed to rent and although we make enough to pay for a nice home,[my husband and I each own our own companies for over 3 years now, makes $$$ steady income] no-one will give us the time of day because of our low credit. We are young starting up and our family is growing fairly rapidly to still be... More

  • Anonymous
    Oct 15, 2019

    UPDATE: We were able to find a landlord that was willing to work with us and our situation.


What do you charge as a Babysitter? What are babysitters charging these days?

  • Karla
    Oct 06, 2019

    We have a family friend that was watching my son. She asked for $500 per month. She would watch him maybe 3 or 4 times per week at most. We got lucky when she volunteered since she wasn't working. He also got home cooked food from her. But definitely heard $20/hr minimum

Moving to a different state

My husband and I decided we want to move to Washington state from Kansas. It’s a lot more expensive there but we want to be closer to family! Any tips on selling everything/saving? Do’s and don’ts? What was your experience like moving to a different state. Thanks guys!

  • Beth
    Sep 12, 2019

    It's very hard living here near Seattle. As someone who wasn't raised here The Seattle Freeze is very real and very isolating. The people here are nice but unless they haven't been raised here they're not interested in making new friends or working on relationships. It might be better on the east side of the mountains like Spokane, but anywhere between the ocean and the mountain... More

Anonymous posted in Money Jul 30, 2019

How do you make extra money?

Hi all, Do any of you have any way of making extra money on the side?

  • PK
    Sep 15, 2019

    Achievement - connect with your health apps to track your exercise and steps to get points for gift cards. You can also earn points by taking their surveys or reading their health related articles. You don’t need to log steps or anything, it runs in the background with the apps you connect. However, I recommend logging in periodically to take surveys and read the articles to get extra points. T... More

  • PK
    Sep 15, 2019

    Let me know if you have any questions about any of them. They are all legit apps that I have cashed out on... except PintPass. I haven’t had a chance to cash out on that one quite yet so I can’t vouch for it!

Anonymous posted in Child Care Jun 26, 2019

English is my second language, what is the right way to ask a babysitter how much they charge?

  • B
    Jun 26, 2019

    Just ask like that. Ask how much they charge per hour

  • Genesis
    Sep 30, 2019

    1. How much do your baby sitting services cost? 2. How much is your hourly fee? 3. How much do you charge per hour? I hope any of these help. I believe these questions are respectful.

I’m considering home-schooling my kids.

How much would it cost to hire someone? I have four kids and seeing how bad the public school system is getting I want my kids to have a bright future and public schools I’m afraid is not a viable option today.

  • Flutegal64
    Jul 04, 2019

    Everyone talks about how bad the schools are but have you viewed the school and talked to parents? In NY teachers need a Masters and have a high standard. I’m ok with home schooling for some kids who do better with one on one, but the reality of life is people need to work on teams. I’ve seen a lot of group work and teaching interactive skills. Schools follow a curriculum that’s tough and all p... More

  • Lynn
    Sep 12, 2019

    I grew up in the NY public school system. Moved to AZ with parents during high school. The difference in education was night and day. NY education is in another league. It’s unbelievable how low the standards are in AZ. Its an absolute joke and am terrified to raise my daughter in this school system. I plan on hiring a tutor to work with her on her homework after school everyday. I’d do it myse... More

Anonymous posted in Divorce & Separation Jun 21, 2019

Scared to leave

I want to leave my husband, but I’m too scared to be on my own. I’m currently a SAHM with nothing but a high school diploma. I just don’t see how it’s possible for me to financially support my baby if I leave. I will be able to stay with my mom for a while, but eventually I’d like us to live on our own. What kind of jobs do you single parents have? I know daycare is ridiculously expensive. Thi... More

  • Wendy
    Aug 09, 2019

    you are scared of change.. there’s a difference. you say you don’t know what to do but you just said you can stay at your moms, “husband” can help out either through verbal agreement or child support. anything is possible!! just ask the single mammas out there.. i’m doing it 🙌🏽 trust once you get the ball rolling you’ll look back and say WHY DIDNT I LEAVE SOONER! ❤️ Kids are really not that ex... More

Anonymous posted in Money May 26, 2019

Single mom struggling.

Hi guys. I’m a single mom. I have SO much going on right now mentally that I feel like Such a mess. My daughters father was abusive so I worry about letting her see him. So far he’s been really distant with her but he says every once in a while that he wants to see her and of course my daughter wants everything to do with that. I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t trust him. I’m also living a... More

  • Anonymous
    Aug 10, 2019

    Hi, I think you’re in a tough situation but this can actually be a great thing. Thank goodness you have your parents around and right now you and your daughter have a stable home. I’m sure you’re paying less rent there than if you had your own place. Budget, and save as much as possible right now. Have you considered asking for child or spousal support? Are you not receiving because you want to... More

Anonymous posted in Money May 16, 2019

Grocery tips

We are a family of four and our grocery spending is crazy. Does anyone have any suggestions for shopping cheaper than Costco? I get my paper goods there (paper towels, tissues, toilet paper) and then the frequent foods we eat at home (kids Clif bars, bananas, salads greens and raw almonds to name a few). If Target doesn’t run a gift card deal when I need it, then I buy my diapers and wipes at C... More

  • Sarah
    May 23, 2019

    Another family of 4 here with a $500 monthly grocery budget! Biggest way I've cut costs is by meal planning. I've tried couponing but we just end up with stuff that won't get eaten. Instead we buy exactly what we like and will eat whether or not it is on sale! I would rather pay more for what we like than see it go to waste. I don't know if you have a Dollar Tree in your area bu... More

  • Brittany
    Jun 03, 2019

    When I go grocery shopping I have a two step process, first I make a list and make sure I stick to it. Next, I try to only shop on the outside of the store. This helps to avoid processed junk food and ensures that you're buying nutrient dense foods. People always think it's expensive to eat healthy, but really, it's not.

Anonymous posted in In-Laws May 02, 2019

Comparing how much we help our parents/families?

How do you deal/handle your emotions when your spouse feels they have helped your family enough, and if anyone asks for anything, the answer is no? Or my spouse said the exact words “what have you sacrificed for my family”. I didn’t even ask if we could lend my father money to float his business, I only told him that my mom told me he wanted to borrow money but she told him not to ask the ... More

  • Anonymous
    May 02, 2019

    Has his family ever asked for help with anything? If so, would you feel comfortable with helping them out as your husband has been willing to help out yours (even though you didn’t ask)? I would respond to your husband’s words that if his family ever needed any help that you would be willing to help out as he has done for yours. It’s just fair. But also all decisions to help someone money wi... More

  • Anonymous
    May 05, 2019

    Recently, my husband and I have been talking about this too. We loaned some money to my sister with her purchase of a house. If need be I’m gonna help my brother out too; which my husband is on board with. The thing is his mother has been asking him to help her with her mortgages; which I don’t agree with as she makes way more money than my husband but isn’t managing her money right. I’ve been ... More

Ivy posted in Money Apr 18, 2019

Arrears child support

Please no rude comments, only constructive responses. Long story— So my mom kicked out my dad and threw out all his stuff with him when I was in high school. My mom basically had her lawyer tell us (6kids) that we couldn’t live with my dad because the law said we had to stay with my mom. That didn’t make sense to us because we knew friends who lived with their dad but we didn’t know enough. An... More

  • Ivy
    Apr 22, 2019

    Kate, thanks for your response. I’m going to look through some of your suggestions and continue researching what else we can do, if anything. I have looked at the link and it says debt relief doesn’t include child support arrears.

  • Lee
    May 25, 2019

    1) Your dad needs an attorney for any future dealings with your mom. 2) Your dad needs to contact the Texas Attorney General. They can help to reduce child support as the support has changed from six to two kids. State law is black and white; 20% of income for one child and it increases by an additional 1% for each child thereafter. 3) If there is a language barrier he may have ground to ha... More

Anonymous posted in Marriage & Partnership Apr 15, 2019

Shared or separate bank accounts?

My husband and I currently have a shared account, but I’m curious to what works better in your relationship/marriage? How do you separate everything?

  • Anonymous
    Jul 02, 2019

    Nooooo. Finances are one of the two top reasons for divorce. Once account makes sooo many conditions for miscommunication or for one person to control the finances and cause resentment. Two adults, two careers, two incomes, two bank accounts. So long as the marriage is built in solid communication and trust.

  • Lorena
    Aug 16, 2019

    As a married couple yes. If not married then nope.

Anonymous posted in Breastfeeding Apr 04, 2019

BM versus whole milk past 1 year

Baby is nearing 1 year old that’s when I plan to wean, and I still have a huge stash of frozen BM. Originally I thought to donate it once she turns 1 year but then I realized, some moms nurse until 2 years or so. So they didn’t switch to whole milk at 1 year, so why would I donate my milk? Right? i can save money by using up my frozen stash after I wean then eventually moving to whole milk.... More

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